Shefford & Sandy Mens firsts won the most exciting game seen in years to sit joint top on points in the East Hockey League Division One.
The 6-5 success at Long Sutton was one of the most frenetic, exciting and tense games this correspondent has ever witnessed.
It kickstarted early into the game, Alyn Meredith crashing the ball into the roof of the net.
A few minutes later Long Sutton equalised with a good finish. This prompted S&S to pile on the pressure with Liam Stevens, Chris Fell and Lewis Bridger all going close.
S&S deservedly took the lead, Meredith brilliantly ghosting past three players and providing Elliot Jones the chance to score with a diving effort.
It was then the turn of Long Sutton to pile on the pressure and they scored two quick goals to go into the break 3-2 up.
S&S started the second half well and equalised, Stevens latching onto a loose ball. The game then swung back to Long Sutton as they collected two more goals to go 5-3 up.
At this point S&S could easily have let the game go, but with Stuart Robson and Meredith pulling the strings, Jones pulled one back, drifting across the goal and drilling the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
The fifth goal was a good team effort Meredith finding Bridger down the right, his cross was well met by Fell who finished with aplomb. With five minutes left a goalmouth scramble saw Bridger’s miss fall to youngster Stevens, who made no mistake with the finish.
The last few minutes were tense, but S&S continued to show the determination that had typified their performance under skipper Jeff Hall. The final whistle was a relief and ended a cracking game in which both teams could have claimed the win.
So it’s four wins from four for this young S&S side who sit just below Wapping on goal difference in the table. This weekend they welcome Norwich City at Fortress Sandy.
S&S IIs put in a great team performance to beat Stevenage IIs 6-0, especially in the second half in which they scored five goals.
Goals came from Jakob Ooms (3), Ramohan Bhogal (2) and Steve Brookes.
The man of the match was keeper Steve West who, having not played for 18 months, put in a solid performance and saved a penalty flick.
So it’s also four wins from four for the IIs as they maintained their position at the top of Division 5SW.
S&S IIIs continued their good start to the season maintaining their position at the top of the Division 7SW with a 2-1 win at Royston IIs. Steve Ashdown collected a brace in a game that the 3s dominated.
S&S IVs put out an inexperienced team against league leaders Blueharts VIs, who had put 12 past their opposition the week before. Although the 9-0 score was flattering, the IVs were outplayed by their opposition.